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Friday, January 4, 2019 @ 02:01 PM gHale

Rockline Industries just achieved 10 million safe work hours without a lost time accident (LTA) at its Arkansas operation, state officials said.

The Springdale, AR, campus earned the award for exceptional safety from the Arkansas Department of Labor. Rockline Industries is the seventh company to achieve the milestone since Arkansas began recognizing workplace safety in 1976.

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“Our dedicated associates have developed a ‘Safety Can Do’ culture and their efforts to prevent even minor incidents are the greatest contributors to our safety success,” said Mark Fougerousse, EHS manager of Rockline NWA. “We watch out for each other, and have pride in our work environment. Together, we are always striving to be a zero incident facility. That means we put extra effort toward troubleshooting situations others would consider to be very minor and we reduce risk when we see it.”

Rockline associates are responsible and accountable to themselves and the safety of teammates around them. All area personnel are made aware of any observed safety issues noted during the monthly inspections, helping everyone to know what to watch for and to prevent repeat issues in the future.

“We have an incredible group of dedicated employees who believe that zero injuries are possible, at work and home. We pay attention to little details and look out for each other’s safety with genuine concern, every day. More important than any milestone achieved is the knowledge that our employees are acting safely and have a safe place to work. We have accomplished this in an environment of increased growth and significant facility modification, and it is a privilege to work with such a dedicated team,” said Joel Slank, general manager of the Springdale facility.

The award from the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Division is part of Arkansas’ overall educational program to encourage workplace safety by honoring companies whose employees have accumulated a significant number of work hours without a lost day away from work due to a work-related injury or illness.

Rockline Industries started up in 1976 and is headquartered in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. It is a manufacturer of coffee filters and consumer, health care, industrial and institutional wet wipes. A family-owned company, Rockline has repeatedly created first-to-market product design solutions for the wet wipe consumer, and continues to provide innovative products to the nonwovens industry. Rockline employs nearly 2,500 people worldwide and has manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin, Arkansas, New Jersey, Tennessee, England and South China.

Friday, December 14, 2018 @ 02:12 PM gHale

GE has an update available to mitigate a path traversal vulnerability in its Mark VIe, EX2100e, EX2100e_Reg, and LS2100e, according to a report with NCCIC.

Successful exploitation of this vulnerability, discovered by Can Demirel of Biznet Bilisim, could allow an attacker to access system data, which could result in escalation of privilege and unauthorized access to the controller.

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A distributed control system , the following versions of the Mark Vie suffer from the vulnerability:
• Mark VIe Versions 03.03.28C to 05.02.04C
• EX2100e All versions prior to v04.09.00C
• EX2100e_Reg All versions prior to v04.09.00C
• LS2100e All versions prior to v04.09.00C

The affected versions of the application have a path traversal vulnerability that fails to restrict the ability of an attacker to gain access to restricted information.

CVE-2018-19003 is the case number assigned to this vulnerability, which has a CVSS v3 base score of 7.4.

The product sees use mainly in the energy sector. It also sees action on a global basis.

No known public exploits specifically target this vulnerability. This vulnerability is not exploitable remotely. However, an attacker with low skill level could leverage the vulnerability.

The path traversal vulnerability has been corrected by GE. GE recommends users upgrade to the current version of ControlST software as described in CSB25378, which is available to registered users via the GE Power ServiceNow portal.

In applications where the controller-hosted web server is not required, GE recommends turning off the web server. For all other applications, GE recommends updating the controller to the latest firmware version available in the current ControlST release.

With respect to EX2100e, GE recommends all standalone excitation controls be segmented from other networks using a firewall installed inside the excitation panels. External communication should be exclusively restricted to only those protocols specifically required for command and control, such as Modbus. Other services including HTTP must be blocked from external access.

To minimize the risk of exposure to this and any other vulnerabilities, GE recommends a defense-in-depth approach to protecting critical process control equipment. Guidance on technology and best practices to secure GE controllers from cyber attack are provided in the Mark VIe Control Systems Secure Deployment Guide (GEH-6839), which can be requested through GE Technical Support.

Additionally, GE recommends users of affected versions take the following mitigating actions while awaiting an upgrade:
• Maintain tight physical access control to all critical controllers
• Limit network availability to only the most critical needs and implement tight firewall restrictions
• Disable any unnecessary network related functions or enable only on an as needed basis

GE provides additional up to date information concerning this issue (requires customer account/login).

Or contact GE PSIRT.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 @ 04:12 PM gHale

Following the Marriott International hotel chain breach, U.S. Democrat Senators Mark Warne, Ed Markey, and Richard Blumenthal want data security and consumer privacy legislation.

The Marriott hotel chain disclosed a huge data breach on November 30 which affected 500 million customers who had their data stored in the chain’s Starwood guest reservation database.

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Moreover, the massive security breach happened in 2014, and Marriott found out about it on September 10 following an internal security alert regarding an attempt to access the Starwood reservation database.

“Breaches like this can lead to identity theft and crippling financial fraud. They are a black cloud hanging over the United States’ bright economic horizon. The American people deserve real action,” said Senator Markey. “It’s time for Congress to pass comprehensive consumer privacy and data security legislation that requires companies to adhere to strong data security standards, directs them to only collect the data they actually need to service their customer, and creates penalties for companies that fail to meet them.”

Senator Warner also requested new legislation requiring companies to limit the amount of data they collect from their customers, as well as remove the sensitive data they no longer use from their databases.

U.S. Senator Blumenthal said the failure to protect the sensitive data it was entrusted with by its customers highly increases their risk of being targeted by future identity theft and financial attacks.

Marriott completed its acquisition of Starwood in 2016.

In addition the Federal Trade Commission released an advisory about steps victims can take to in the incident.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 @ 06:11 AM gHale

A toxic gas leak from a chemical plant near the base of the Delaware Memorial Bridge Sunday shut down all lanes of traffic on the busy holiday weekend for more than six hours.

A HazMat crew got the call to Croda Inc. in New Castle, Delaware, at 4:16 p.m. for leaking ethylene oxide, an extremely flammable gas, from a tank on the site, according to Holloway Terrace Fire Chief Mark Willis.

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At 11:20 p.m., the leak was contained and the bridge reopened.

Ethylene oxide is used to manufacture other chemicals, to sterilize medical devices and as a fumigant, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The gas was transferred from the leaking tank to a secure one. More than 70 percent of the gas escaped the chemical tank, said fire company spokesman George Greenley.

As of 11:20 p.m., the ethylene oxide is fully contained, the chemical plant said.

Residents in New Castle neighborhoods north of Moores Lane were urged to stay in their homes, said New Castle City Police Chief Richard McCabe. Dispatchers used a reverse 911 call to notify residents.

There were no injuries reported in the incident.

All north and south lanes of Delaware Memorial Bridge closed around 5 p.m. as a precautionary measure as crews responded to the leak, Delaware River and Bay Authority spokesman Jim Salmon said.

Interstate 295 closed at I-95, and traffic was diverted to the Commodore Barry, Walt Whitman or Ben Franklin bridges. Congestion from the bridge had a ripple effect along I-95 and other major roadways, causing major delays for the end of the holiday weekend.

British-based Croda Inc. is an international specialty chemical manufacturer.

Atlas Point, Croda’s Delaware location, manufactures formulas ranging from pharmaceutical use to industrial chemicals. Croda bought the site from Uniqema in 2006.

The process of turning ethanol into ethylene oxide is new — something Croda began doing less than six months at its Atlas Point location, Greenley said.

A manufacturing operation has been at Atlas Point for more than 75 years.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 @ 03:11 PM gHale

Every member of the European Union are a part of the 51 states that pledged their support for an international agreement to set standards on cyberweapons and the use of the Internet.

The states signed the “Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace,” in an effort to fire up a global plan to set standards for things like cyberweapons.

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Among the notable countries that did not sign the pact are China, Russia and the United States. They are resisting setting standards for cyberweapons.

“We need norms to avoid a war in cyberspace which would be catastrophic,” said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Those that signed the pact are calling for a “Digital Geneva Convention,” which set standards for the use of cyberweapons, much like the Geneva Convention set standards for the conduct of wars.

One case in point is the states should commit to not attacking infrastructure which is depended upon by civilians during wartime.

A new international norm would also help define a state-backed cyberattack and when a state could be justified in retaliating.

Dozens of countries are thought to have developed offensive cyberweapons.

“We need to move these norms forward,” Microsoft president Brad Smith said at the Paris Peace Forum, held to mark the the end of World War I.

In a presentation at the forum, Smith portrayed cyberweapons as having the potential to spark another mass conflict.

He said 2017 was a “wake-up call for the world” because of the WannaCry and NotPetya attacks.

WannaCry crippled hospitals in Britain and affected 150 countries in 24 hours. It is thought to have been deployed from North Korea.

Experts attribute NotPetya, which hit banking, power and business computing systems across Ukraine, to Russia.

But security officials note those two attacks appear to be based on code stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency.

“In a world where everything is being connected, anything can be affected, which is why we need to come together,” Smith added.

The pact has also been signed by 93 civil society groups and 218 companies.

“To respect people’s rights and protect them online as they do in the physical world, states must work together, but also collaborate with private-sector partners, the world of research and civil society,” according to the text.

Monday, November 12, 2018 @ 04:11 PM gHale

Cyberattacks are seen as the top risk to doing business in just about any region in the world like North America, Europe, and the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region, a new report said.

On a global basis, cyberattacks are the 5th biggest concern, after unemployment/underemployment, failure of national governance, energy price shock, and fiscal crises, according to the report by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Cyberattacks are seen as a bigger risk to doing business compared to the previous year, when they were on the 8th position.

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“This is no surprise,” the WEF wrote in its report. “A number of massive cyber-attacks took place in 2017 – notably WannaCry, Petya and NotPetya – causing extensive operational disruption and financial losses for organizations around the world. We will look back at 2017 as the year that the world began to take seriously the potential extent of our vulnerability to cyber-attack disruptions. In our survey, ‘cyber-attacks’ tended to be flagged as a concern in the world’s more advanced economies.”

The report provides insights based on a survey of 12,000 private sector decision-makers from 130 countries.

Cyberattacks were named the top risk in Europe. WEF also said the number of cyberattacks in the region has increased significantly in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.

Cyberattacks are also the top concern in the East Asia and the Pacific region, which includes countries such as Australia, China, North and South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia.

“The prominence of cyber-attacks as a concern among the region’s businesses reflects the rapid pace of digitization and the increasing sophistication of the region’s economies. South-East Asia in particular is the fastest-growing region in the world in terms of connections to the Internet, with a projected 3.8 million new users each month, and estimates that its online economy will reach $200 billion by 2025. These trends make the region a target for criminal and terrorist hackers,” the WEF said.

In North America – specifically in the United States and Canada, as Mexico has been grouped with Latin America – cyberattacks are the top concern of businesses, followed by data fraud or theft.

“This mirrors the pattern in other economically advanced regions, highlighting the growing reliance of global commerce on digital networks that are the target of increasingly sophisticated and prolific attacks. In this regard, 2017 is likely to mark a watershed, with a series of massive cyber-attacks highlighting the mounting dangers from hackers and the need to bolster public and corporate defences,” the report explains.

In the Middle East and North Africa region, cyberattacks are ranked 6th. However, the United Arab Emirates, which the WEF has described as a “regional outlier,” did rank cyberattacks first. Technology misuse and data fraud are also major concerns in the UAE, on the third and fourth positions, respectively.

Monday, November 12, 2018 @ 03:11 PM gHale

There have been 3,676 publicly disclosed data compromise events through September 30 which resulted in 3.6 billion records exposed, a new study found.

That said, breach activity continues at a consistent pace for 2018, which although significant in level, will likely not reach the numbers seen in 2017, according to the 2018 Q3 Data Breach QuickView report by Risk Based Security.

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“The number of reported breaches shows some improvement compared to 2017 and the number of records exposed has dropped dramatically,” said Inga Goddijn, executive vice president for Risk Based Security. “However, an improvement from 2017 is only part of the story, since 2018 is on track to have the second most reported breaches and the third most records exposed since 2005. Despite the decrease from 2017, the overall trend continues to be more breaches and more mega breaches impacting tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of records at once.”

A new metric Risk Based Security has been tracking in 2018 is the time interval between when a breach is discovered by the compromised organization to when the event is publicly disclosed. Overall the gap has been closing. However, looking at the averages for each of the five years, 2018 shows no improvement compared to 2017 despite mounting regulatory pressure to speed up public disclosure. With 34.5 percent of breached organizations unwilling or unable to disclose the number of records exposed, there’s clearly more progress to be made.

Hacking continues to be the leading cause of data compromise events, accounting for 57.1 percent of the disclosed breaches, however hacking is not responsible for the most records exposed. That dubious honor still belongs to Fraud, which accounts for 35.7 percent of the records exposed so far this year. Though rarely focused on, skimming is a continuing problem at ATMs and for gas station operators. Approximately 53 percent of the skimming events were discovered at ATMs and 42 percent found on gas pumps.

Key Findings:
• 3,676 breaches have been reported through September 30, exposing approximately 3.6 billion records.
• Compared to the same point in 2017, the number of reported breaches is down 8 percent and the number of exposed records is down approximately 49 percent from 7 billion.
• The business sector accounted for 38 percent of reported breaches, followed by government (8.2 percent), medical (7.8 percent) and education (3.9 percent). Nearly 43 percent of breached organizations could not be definitively classified.
• Seven breaches exposed 100 million or more records with the 10 largest breaches accounting for 84.5 percent of the records exposed year to date.
• The business sector accounted for 63.6 percent of the records exposed followed by unclassified at 34.8 percent and government at 1.4 percent. The pattern from 2017 and the first 2 quarters of 2018 remains the same, with the medical and education sectors combined accounting for less than 1 percent of the total records exposed year to date.
• Fraud remains in the top spot for the breach type compromising the most records, accounting for 35.7 of exposed records, while hacking takes the lead in number of incidents, accounting for 57.1 percent of reported breaches.
• 2018 continues to be marked by a lack of transparency, with 34.5 percent of breached organizations unwilling or unable to disclose the number of records exposed.

“After the curiously slow start to the year, we had hopes that 2018 might finally signal a change in the breach landscape. Unfortunately, it’s become clear that is not the case. In practically every way, 2018 is on track to be just as ugly as prior years. Insider actions, both in terms of malicious activity as well as mishandling assets, continue to drive the high volume of data exposed and any early signs that the number of incidents was on the decline has evaporated,” Goddijn said.

“The primary difference between 2018 and 2017 is the lack of a catastrophic event like the WannaCry and Petya/NotPetya outbreaks that left an indelible mark on 2017,” she said. “All it will take is another EternalBlue exploiting another widespread vulnerability to put us right back at at ‘worst year ever’ level of activity.”

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 @ 12:10 PM gHale

An ammonia leak at the White Castle distribution center in Covington, KY, forced nearby residents to shelter in place for 5 1/2 hours into Saturday night.

No one was injured in the incident, but some people living in the Tuscany subdivision were alarmed after the incident was reported at the White Castle Distribution Center on Rolling Hills and Madison Pike about 4:30 p.m.

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One of the large freezers that holds frozen White Castle meals leaked high doses of ammonia refrigerant, officials said.

Safety was the first thing on firefighters’ minds as Capt. Kaleb Miller said firefighters knocked on doors and dispatch made reverse 911 calls to alert residents.

“This is the first time in my 10 years at Covington Fire that I’ve responded to an incident like this,” Miller said. “It’s not often that they happen, but when they do happen, they take a lot.”

The facility was empty when an alarm sounded. White Castle officials noticed an ammonia cloud coming out of the mechanical room and alerted Kenton County Emergency Dispatch, according to a news release from the City of Covington. The Northern Kentucky Hazardous Materials team responded along with Covington Fire and the Kenton County Emergency Management.

As a precaution, a Code Red phone alert notified residents to go in their homes, close doors and windows and turn off their furnaces, according to the news release. Covington firefighters set up a water curtain to capture the fumes and drag them to the ground, where they liquefied and were diluted, Fire Chief Mark Pierce said. The HazMat team then entered, shut off the leak and ventilated the building.

The all-clear was given about 9:30 p.m. and Ky. 17, which was closed north and south of Pioneer Park, reopened.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 @ 07:10 PM gHale

Toy Factory TX LLC – doing business as The Toy Factory LLC – is facing $112,523 in fines for workplace safety violations after an employee suffered an arm amputation while cleaning machinery at the company’s Elysburg, Pennsylvania, plant, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Inspectors found the company failed to develop acceptable procedures to prevent the release of hazardous energy.

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They also found the company did not apply lockout devices, train employees on lockout/tagout, and correct other electrical hazards.

“Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure that employees have a safe and healthful workplace,” said OSHA Wilkes-Barre Area Office Director Mark Stelmack. “This company’s failure to use appropriate machine locking devices resulted in a serious injury that could have been prevented.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 @ 05:10 PM gHale

Superior, Wisconsin-based Superior Refining Company LLC is facing $83,150 in fines for failing to control the use and release of highly hazardous chemicals after an explosion and fire injured several employees, said officials at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Investigators cited the refinery for eight serious violations of OSHA’s process safety management procedures.

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“Ensuring the mechanical integrity of critical equipment used during the refinery shutdown operation could have prevented this incident,” said OSHA Eau Claire Area Office Director Mark Hysell. “Superior Refining Company LLC has been working cooperatively with OSHA to ensure a comprehensive process safety management program is implemented at the facility before resuming production.”

The initial explosion occurred April 26 in the Superior Refining’s Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU) at 10 a.m. while the refinery was shutting down the FCCU for maintenance and inspection, according to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB).

To date the CSB determined the following:
• The explosion took place during a planned maintenance shutdown of the refinery FCCU.
• The incident occurred during a scheduled break time and many workers previously in the unit before the explosion had moved either into blast resistant buildings or away from the process unit.
• One piece of debris from the explosion flew about 200 feet, and struck a large, nearby, aboveground storage tank containing about 50,000 barrels of asphalt. The side of the tank was punctured, resulting in the release of over 15,000 barrels of hot asphalt into the refinery.
• Approximately two hours after the release, the asphalt ignited, resulting in a large fire.
• As a result of the explosion, 36 people sought medical attention, including eleven refinery and contract workers who sustained OSHA recordable injuries. In addition, a large portion of Superior, WI, ended up evacuated.